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  1. Rays

Why it will look a lot like 2008 at the Trop Friday/Saturday

2B Akinori Iwamura and SS Jason Bartlett celebrate the 2008 AL pennant clinching out vs. Boston. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
2B Akinori Iwamura and SS Jason Bartlett celebrate the 2008 AL pennant clinching out vs. Boston. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Jul. 31, 2018

The Rays are planning to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their 2008 AL pennant winning team on Friday and Saturday.

Some, though not all, of the key contributors will be on hand, headlined by 2B Akinori Iwamura, who famously recorded the final out of the ALCS, returning from Japan.

Others confirmed include team MVP SS Jason Bartlett, slugging OF B.J (now Melvin) Upton and starters Scott Kazmir and James Shields, a member of the visiting White Sox.

2008 alums will greet fans at Gate 1 starting at 5:10 Friday and 4:10 Saturday, and will sign autographs at the Tropicana Field 20th anniversary exhibit. (Season ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take photos and listen to Q-and-A sessions.)

On Saturday, all fans will receive an Iwamura bobblehead of him making the  final out and includes Dave Wills' classic radio call.

There will be pre-game introductions of the 2008 alums, the national anthem performed by Les Sabler and Marshall Gillam (who were frequent performers that year), and then Iwamura will throw the first pitch to Bartlett.

Others confirmed to attend, per the Rays, include Rocco Baldelli, Grant Balfour, Kurt Birkins, Chad Bradford, Reid Brignac, Mike DiFelice, Scott Dohmann, Gary Glover, Gabe Gross, Elliot Johnson, Trever Miller, Fernando Perez, Shawn Riggans, Justin Ruggiano and Dan Wheeler. Also, coaches, Brian Anderson, Tom Foley and Steve Henderson.

Among the missing will be Dan Johnson, Carl Crawford, Dioner Navarro, Carlos Pena, Cliff Floyd, Jonny Gomes, Matt Garza, J.P. Howell, Andy Sonnantine, Troy Percival.  Those still playing or coaching/managing for other teams include Evan Longoria, David Price, Ben Zobrist, Jason Hammel, Eric Hinske, plus coaches George Hendrick, Jim Hickey, Dave Martinez and Bobby Ramos and manager Joe Maddon.

For more information, see raysbaseball.com

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